Senior Safety Tips: Stay Out of The Heat!

Mature woman applying suntan lotion

Although we’re nearing the end of summer, 90 degree days are not yet behind us! Heat waves are still very possible and can be dangerous to anyone, especially older adults. Now this isn’t to say seniors should stay inside for the rest of summer! Seniors can safely enjoy outdoor summer activities like going to the beach or a family BBQ, as long as they take the proper safety precautions in the heat.

With that said, here are some summer heat safety tips for seniors from our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ.

Protect your skin with SPF and shade when possible

It only makes sense to start off with the most obvious and effective ways to protect seniors from the sun: SPF and shade. Your loved one should apply sunscreen every time they step outside in the summer for a number of reasons. The sun’s rays can cause painful sunburns, sun spots, cancer and pre-cancer, and some of these conditions can lead to chronic health complications. Older adults are especially at risk because their skin is more fragile and susceptible to the sun’s damage. With skin safety in mind, we recommend your senior family member uses a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Aside from wearing sunscreen outdoors, we also recommend finding shady spots to cool down during peak sun hours: 10am-4pm.

Stay hydrated at all times

Another senior safety tip is to always have enough water during the hot, summer weather. Dehydration happens when our bodies lose more fluid than they take in. Seniors are more at risk for dehydration because they have a lower volume of water in their bodies to begin with. Here are some recommendations to avoid dehydration from our team of health professionals:

  • Always carry a water bottle and refill it often throughout the day
  • Avoid caffeinated or sugary drinks like tea, coffee, and soda that dehydrate the body
  • Eat food like fruits and vegetables that have high water content

Wear bug spray when outdoors

This tip may seem less relevant than the others, but trust us – it’s just as important. Seniors are more prone to getting the diseases that bugs carry due to their more fragile immune systems. Heat exhaustion plus a harmful bug bite could mean big trouble. Older adults should make sure that they are properly protecting themselves from bugs by wearing insect repellent and avoiding places where they are more likely to encounter harmful insects. We recommend using a bug repellent that has at least 20% DEET to prevent insects from biting exposed skin. It’s also best practice to let your sunscreen dry completely before applying your bug spray for maximum protection.

Sun safety at our assisted living community in Camden County

Our associates at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood understand how harmful the summer sun can be to seniors who are not properly protected. That’s why they take extra precautions with our assisted living residents during these hot weather months, especially when there are a lot of fun outdoor activities planned! We don’t want anyone to miss out due to something as preventable as sun damage.

For more information about our assisted living support services in Camden County, call us today or visit our website at:

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